J-Pop princesses in dirty duel for chart queen crown Kumi Koda: She sells CDs by being sex-sure. Dirty diva Kumi Koda seemed to have the Japanese music world at her feet thanks to an arousing amalgamation of sexy outfits and racy tunes, but a new rival has emerged to threaten her position -- even within her own record label, according to Shukan Shincho (8/31). Koda, last year's winner of the Nihon Record Taisho -- Japan's equivalent to the Grammys -- is aiming to double up in the country's most prestigious music award, but Ai Otsuka has come out of virtually nowhere to usurp Koda's title as J-pop's heir apparent to the throne currently held by Ayumi Hamasaki. Making the rivalry even fiercer, like Hamasaki, Koda and Otsuka both belong to Avex Inc., Japan's most powerful popular record label. "When an artist makes a name for themselves at Avex, the company sets them up with a support team of their own. The number of people in the team reflects the popularity of the artist. (At the start of the year) Ayumi Hamasaki had the biggest support team, with about 30 members, Koda's team had around 20 and Otsuka was in third, with a team a little bit smaller than Koda's," an entertainment beat reporter tells Shukan Shincho. Things have changed a little recently that have got Koda and Otsuka at odds. "Otsuka's team has been increased to about the same size as Koda's. The music industry is in a real slump at the moment. Avex is feeling the pinch and needs to find new ways of making money. The company's emphasis is shifting toward its movie-making division. That's why Otsuka appeared in the movie 'Tokyo Friends.' This was a straight-to-DVD product. In a line where sales of 10,000 units is judged to be a huge hit, 'Tokyo Friends' sold 50,000 copies," the hack says. Otsuka ripping up the charts inside Avex has got Koda cringing. "They're both 23, but Koda spent a lot more time working her way up through the ranks. Otsuka's rise has been meteoric in comparison. And (unlike Koda) she's now making movies," a TV network insider tells Shukan Shincho. "Koda was popular last year for being behind the erotic-cute phenomena, but she's still doing the same thing now. Some say she knows people are gonna get sick of her gimmick eventually. Koda's rivalry with Otsuka has more than a little jealousy in it." Trailing behind Koda not so long ago, Otsuka has now moved on to equal footing. "Avex held a concert for its shareholders in June. Ayumi Hamasaki took the top billing, but Otsuka was given second billing, with Koda after her. Koda was furious," the TV insider says. "Koda and Otsuka are bitterly opposed to each other and make little secret of their rivalry. Koda goes around saying that Otsuka has no talent. And Otsuka says that Koda is 'vulgar' and 'acts like a cheap, nightclub hostess.'" Their battle has made Koda's quest to repeat her Nihon Record Taisho win even more desperate than ever. "Winning a second award would restore her place in the pecking order. But Otsuka is standing in her way," the entertainment beat reporter says. Avex, however, disputes the accounts. "They belong to the same record company, so there's no question of a dispute," an Avex spokesman says. Music critic Masaaki Hiruma says that the problem is not whether Koda and Otsuka are at each other's throats. "It's the ridiculous way they both desperately want to win the Nihon Record Taisho. It's a really tacky fight," the critic tells Shukan Shincho. "Unfortunately, it's also a sign of how far the prestigious award has fallen." (By Ryann Connell) credited to http://mdn.mainichi-msn.co.jp/ ----- I like Ai compared to Koda. Ai deserves it. She doesn't use sex to sell. As for Koda, no comment.lol.